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Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,006 ratings  ·  216 reviews
What does it mean when a band is judged by how hard they pray rather than how hard they rock? Would Jesus buy “Got Jesus?” T-shirts or sport “witness wear”? What do Christian skate parks, raves, and romance novels say about evangelicalism — and America?
Meticulously reported, with the perfect blend of amusement and respect, Rapture Ready! is the story of Daniel Radosh’s inv
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Paperback, 310 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Soft Skull Press (first published April 8th 2008)
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Melki
For the overly sensitive and easily offended, I feel I need to point out that this book does not make fun of Christianity and the majority of Christians. However, if you are the type of person who will buy a candle because it "smells like Jesus", be prepared to have the stuffing mocked out of you!

Well, okay...he does kind of poke fun at Stephen Baldwin. Or, should I say, he just lets Baldwin talk, and Baldwin does the job for him by being such an ass. Don't worry. Baldwin says that I'm allowed t
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Annie
If you're looking for this book to reinforce your belief that all Christians are mindless cattle, indiscriminately consuming whatever cultural drivel is set before them, you're going to be disappointed. Likewise, if you're hoping this book will be a post you can hitch your pro-Christian culture argument to, you'll also be disappointed. That's because this book is surprisingly even-handed, even when dealing with situations that would seem absurd to many people. (Humans riding saddled dinosaurs le ...more
Alicia
I thought this was a really entertaining, well-written, insightful book about the bizarre alternate universe of Christian pop culture. It was also a timely read, considering the RNC's recent efforts to reignite the culture wars and demonize the "liberal media" (yawn...that old chestnut). I got the sense that book was animated by a desire to understand what forces really fuel the Christian market and why the right wing has been so successful in politicizing religious faith. Ultimately, the author ...more
Marie
Radosh is a self-described non-religious Jewish liberal, who decides he wants to explore the $7 billion industry that is Christan pop (sub)culture. He travels to 18 cities and towns in 13 states, interviewing a fascinating group of people, ranging from Bibleman, the Caped Christian; Rob Adonis, the founder and star of Ultimate Christian Wrestling; Ken Ham, the country's leading creationism prophet; and Jay Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and the pastor of a liberal, punk rock church ...more
Jaclyn Day
This book was one of the suggestions in my 2013 Reading Challenge and I am so glad I included it. There are few books I've read that accurately and thoroughly capture the total weirdness that is Christian pop culture, but this one does it so well. I've mentioned before that I grew up in Christian schools and going to church with my family and I've personally seen or experienced so many similar things that Radosh covers in this book (sometimes to a lesser or even greater degree).

Christian pop cul
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Johnny Brooks
If you have Christian art hanging in your house, own Christian music CDs, go to Passion plays, believe Creation science is actually science, and think that plastic crosses are cool, then this book is for you.

"Adventures in the parallel universe of Christian pop culture" When I read that from the front of the book, I was hooked. I knew this book would be a cool read.

Daniel Radosh, author, is a humanist Jew, or something like that, who immerses himself in various aspects of Christian pop culture o
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Sarah
How is it that, in 35 years of being a Christian, I have never heard of Bibleman? Or attended a purity ball? Or listened to Christian emo? I feel...cheated. (Side note: I have seen a man tear a phone book in half in Jesus' name, which I think counts for something).

Radosh's perceptive bit of investigative journalism really opened my eyes to what some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are doing for the furtherance of the Kingdom. Covertly antisemitic passion plays, men in tights, hell houses an
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Mark
Daniel Radosh is NOT an evangelical - in fact, he's a Humanistic Jew (his own description) - which for the purposes of this book is a very good thing. One of the pieces of advice you're often given when getting ready to sell your house is to have someone who's never been there come to walk through & look for all the things that need fixing or repainting. There's a reason - you've lived there for so long that you've become used to the imperfections, blemishes & outright broken stuff. Mr. ...more
Elise Smith
I grabbed this book because I thought it would be a light, hilarious take on the oftentimes crazy world of Christian Pop Culture. This book IS hilarious, but it does so much more than just take cheap shots at Evangelicals. Through his journey, Radosh, a self-defined "humanist jew," meets everyone from the outright crazy fundamentals to the Christians who are embarrassed by how Christianity has been commercialized and politicized and just trying to live their faith authentically. He honestly is s ...more
Jared
I almost want to give this book 5 stars, but by principle can not give a book that is written for an 8th grade reading level a 5 star review. Call me a snob. I don't care. There are other reasons I won't give this book 5 stars. Maybe it was because of his own liberal tolerant intolerance, or the buried postmodern assumptions and his desire for Christians to become postmodern. Or the fact that it is not masterful language or masterful storytelling. Or because this book will not matter in 20 years ...more
Jacqueline
I have mixed feelings about this book. I saw it listed on my daily "Book Lover's" calendar, and I was intrigued by the premise. A liberal, New York Jew explores the "parallel universe of Christian pop culture." As someone who has both worked in a Christian bookstore and grown up in conservative churches, I was interested in an outsider's take on the subculture. On the one hand, there is much to agree with in this book. Christian pop culture is often a cheesy, in-your-face derivative of secular p ...more
Ana Mardoll
Rapture Ready / 9781416593751

I expected "Rapture Ready!" to be a fun, snarky joyride through modern Christian evangelical pop culture - something that made cutesy fun of all the kitsch you see at the Mardel store, and a largely fluffy throw-away book. What I found, however, was a far deeper, more mature consideration of such - wrapped tightly in the best book I've read all year.

Daniel Radosh is a plainly a skilled writer, and as a good writer he can't help but feel deeply connected to the 'cha
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Ana Mardoll
Rapture Ready / 978-0-7432-9770-7

I expected "Rapture Ready!" to be a fun, snarky joyride through modern Christian evangelical pop culture - something that made cutesy fun of all the kitsch you see at the Mardel store, and a largely fluffy throw-away book. What I found, however, was a far deeper, more mature consideration of such - wrapped tightly in the best book I've read all year.

Daniel Radosh is a plainly a skilled writer, and as a good writer he can't help but feel deeply connected to the 'c
...more
Melinda Worfolk
This book is a fascinating look at a subculture I only know a little bit about. The author's approach is not to point and laugh, but rather to make a genuine attempt to understand where evangelical Christians are coming from. However, he's definitely not afraid to call out the real jerks in the evangelical Christian world (like James Dobson's son Ryan Dobson, author of the book Be Intolerant: Because Some Things are Just Stupid...ugh*) and show his disgust at their intolerance and bigotry.

I part
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Deb
Daniel Radosh, an outsider to the world of the American Christian subculture embarks upon a journey that takes him to Christian music festivals, Bible themed amusement parks, and interviews with Christian authors. Radosh, who is of Jewish background, shares his frank reactions to the products, places, and people he encounters. His viewpoint exposes much that is regrettable about the consumerism that drives many of these ventures. But Radosh is also surprised by the genuine efforts of Christians ...more
Megan
I am, without a doubt, a person who lives a life far apart from Christian (or any religion, for that matter) pop culture. Noone in my family attends church regularly and I can count on one hand the number of I've actually been inside a church myself.

However, I'm incredibly intrigued by religion. Its something so pervasive yet so alien to my way of thinking. As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it--lickity split.

The author, a Jewish man with fairly liberal tendancies, immerses
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Mallory
While there was one section early on that was draggy to the point of being outright dull, it was worth pushing through for the rest of the information, which ranged from bizarre to hilarious to sort of sweet, in its own way. This is a strange book about strange things but it is also a very fair book. The author does his best to normalize--rather than mock--evangelical pop culture. When he does want to paint someone or something as crazy he chooses rather to let things speak for themselves. A moc ...more
Jesse
The best book yet on Christian pop culture. Smart about lefty condescension, and about the ways that some Christians actually want to live their faith through their music (mostly, though he does semi-pitch a sitcom idea featuring a Christian, gay neighbors, and intolerant fundamentalist neighbors), but also about all the ignorance and intolerance (and just plain crap) out there. Introduced me to Krystal Meyers (the Christian Avril Lavigne), KJ the 52 (the C. Eminem--even has a two-part song wher ...more
Su Abeille
I went into this book thinking I was going to get my fill of 'insane religious behavior' - and though the book did bring to light some super crazy mind frames, it also showed that this isn't something every Christian wants or believes. It was not overly harsh, instead searched for the common ground where this subculture can meet with the secular world. The need to make all Christian follow a set of rules reminded me that Christianity is like any cliche, they have a uniform, there are those who f ...more
Laura
I appreciated the information about modern day Christianity and found many of the writer's experiences quite profound. However, I would have appreciated less of his personal commentary. He came off as quite preachy at times and it bothered me to a point that I started liking him less. With the message he was carrying, I think it's important for him to be farther from judgment so that the reader can create an opinion for him/herself. Otherwise, he marginalizes his consumers. This message is impor ...more
Kelly Hager
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book (although he got a little unnecessarily snarky at the end, I thought). I was expecting this to be really funny--and parts are--but it's more of a sociological look at Christian pop culture than an AJ Jacobs-style book.

Still, it's definitely worth the read. I got some reading suggestions (Ted Dekker, who I had actually heard of before, of course) and learned more about a lot of things I wasn't really aware of. So if you're in the mood for an intellige
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Jerry Peace
In this entertaining and thoughtful book, we see over and over what has so thoroughly undermined us Christians for two thousand years. Fear. The only Christians of the many Radosh talks with who are not infected by this fear are some of the music artists and Jay Bakker. They see that fear breeds insularity and self-righteousness and annihilates humility and doubt. Wow. Fear sounds like the perfect womb for fundamentalism, Christian, Muslim, whatever. And throughout this book, we see the subtle a ...more
C
Although I'm currently an agnostic humanist, I did spend a few of my teenage years in an evangelical church, so I carry a lot of strange memories from the "parallel universe" described in this book. It's something I look back on with a mixture of wonder, embarrassment, and confusion, stuff like the fact that our church had a Rage Against the Machine cover band and that I once spent an afternoon in church camp putting away Walmart shopping carts for Jesus.

As someone who wasn't raised in the churc
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Laurie
I felt like I was eavesdropping on what "non-Christians" think of us Christians and it was fascinating. Having worked in a Christian bookstore and seen some of the ways "evangelicals" try to co-opt popular culture for their own ends, I found Radosh's perspective to be insightful and illuminating. I was surprised at how compassionate he was and think that all Christians should read this book to get a little bit of distance and, hopefully, perspective.
Karen Blanchette
This book was absolutely fascinating. Growing up in the South and spending some time around Evangelical Christians, I am not terribly surprised by what he found, but it really made me think about how the economy, Capitalism and American culture intersects with Christianity and religion in general. If you want to start thinking critically about how religious expression is constructed through pop culture. Very good.
Karen
This book left me feeling that a lot of christians are sincere and tolerant, even if they are being a bit weird. But there's also the sort that not only believes that they are right and everyone else is wrong, but that everyone else knows the christians (that's their specific sect, not all christians) are right and they are just trolling them. Which possibly explains why they are quite so annoyed all the time.

It also demonstrates how christians tend to focus on abortion, gay marriage, sex, creat
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Blair
This book was slow at first, but ultimately became riveting to me. Fascinating, in depth look at the world of evangelical pop culture. There are pop culture phenomenons that I didn't even realize existed. I also watched the movie Jesus Camp around the same time I read this book. The two dovetail nicely.
Child960801
Fascinating book. I kind of want everyone to read it so we could talk about it. *spoiler alert* there is a chapter about Christian sexuality. Depending who you are it does get a little explicit.
Ericca Thornhill
I've been asking myself a lot of questions about pop Christian culture lately, and this book does a great job of exploring that, even giving me some answers I'd thought were "my own ideas." Very interesting perspective on American Evangelicalism. I couldn't put it down.
TinHouseBooks
Jakob Vala (Graphic Designer): I’m a religion-obsessed, secular Jew with grand plans for a spiritual road trip. Obviously, there aren’t a lot of books that cater to that sort of thing so I was excited when, after thoroughly confusing a Powell’s employee, I found Daniel Radosh’s Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture. Radosh (also a secular Jew) began investigating contemporary evangelism after he attended a Christian music festival with his sister-in-law. Th ...more
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Daniel Radosh is an American journalist and blogger. Radosh is presently a Staff Writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was previously a contributing editor at The Week. He writes occasionally for The New Yorker. His writing has also appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, GQ, Mademoiselle, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Might, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Playboy, Radar, Salo ...more
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